Thursday, October 7, 2010

Regent Seven Seas Voyager - Canceled Cruises and Loose Lips

The other day a well respected and long time naturalist for Regent, Terry Breen, made a comment somewhere that the repairs to the Regent Voyager's broken azipod could take a month.  This set off a whirlwind of "OMG, my cruise is probably canceled even though Regent Seven Seas hasn't yet canceled it" followed by "OMG, I wonder if my cruise after the one that hasn't been canceled will be canceled."

Today where was a sort of retraction by Ms. Breen emailed to all of those who receive her updates (which includes me).  She wrote, "Just a follow-up on the Voyager; just heard back from the ship and the repair will not be in Genova and is NOT extensive. They will be back on schedule for the next cruise. So good news! Just wanted to quell any concerns. You know how rumors fly. All will be well. Cheers! "

Update:  After I wrote this article I received a second email blast from Ms. Breen wherein she wrote, in relvant part "Let me be clear --- I am not an official spokesperson for Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Until the official word comes from the office we are all just guessing --- guessing leads to rumors -- and rumors are worthless. I am hopeful. I know there are many people effected by this and every effort will be made to get her back on schedule as soon as possible." This, of course, does not make the following any less relevant.  In fact, it makes it moreso.

Now, of course, I received emails wondering if Ms. Breen is credible to rely upon for this information.  Noting that I truly respect Ms. Breen as a naturalist and have had the pleasure of enjoying her talents on cruise a couple of years ago, I will provide you with my response to one inquiry:

No, I have confidence Terry Breen is spouting off stuff that she has absolutely no idea about. (She is a naturalist, not an engineer or management.)  From my perspective, she clearly was speaking out of turn when she commented publicly that it could take a month and Regent told her to retract that because of the unnecessary upset she caused.  The fact of the matter is that at this point no one truly knows what the actual repair is going to be. Speculation is harmful. Conservative planning is necessary.

If you cannot commit to being out of a drydock which is committed to someone else in two weeks, it means you cannot use that dry dock. It has nothing to do with how long you estimate the repairs to be…if you know. It is not like you can drop a ship with a pulled apart pod back in the water and then pull her out whenever….especially if that second ship is planning an extended drydock herself. And, to be sure, I have no idea what (or if) final drydocking plans are in place. 

The “engineering experts” on Cruise Critic are, honestly, laughable and do nothing to make things more realistic for anyone. You are sweating your cruise, others theirs and these folks are just winding you up.  I am presently working on my presentation next week to the New York chapter of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers entitled, “ENGINEERING ISSUES AND HOW TO ADDRESS THEM MORE EFFICIENTLY FROM BOTH A LEGAL AND ENGINEERING PERSPECTIVE”. I am tempted to throw some of the Cruise Critic comments in as the opening joke.

This is a lot of wasted energy, frankly. And it is simply a thing that happens time and time again.  It will be after the weekend before anything of any consequence is known, so kick back and relax for a bit. Everyone should.